Perdue Explains Reasons for Adding Phytase Enzyme

US - US-based broiler company Perdue Farms has used an enzyme called Phytase for more than 15 years in a liquid or powder form as an additive to chicken feed.
calendar icon 26 August 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

The enzyme boosts a chicken or turkey’s uptake of phosphorus which in turn promotes necessary bone health, says Randy Mitchell, vice president of Technical Services and nutritionist for Perdue, based in Salisbury, Maryland.

By adding Phytase to feed, phosphorus is made biologically available to chickens and turkeys, explained Robert Alphin, a University of Delaware instructor in the department of Animal and Food Sciences. Mr Alphin teaches poultry production and says prior to Phytase use, "a lot of the phosphorus couldn't be used" by a growing chicken.

According to Delawareonline, chickens and turkeys require phosphorus in the same way the human body does for proper bone development. Still, the benefits go beyond healthy bones.

The equation is easy to compute. The more phosphorus a chicken uses, the less phosphorus a chicken excretes. This also brings a benefit to farmers who use manure to fertilize fields for corn crops.

Mr Alphin says it allows farmers to use more of the manure more effectively. In the case of corn, a substantial amount of nitrogen is needed and can come from manure, but nutrient management laws dictate how much manure can be used.

"They need the nitrogen for the corn more than the phosphorus," Mr Alphin said. "Now they can use a little bit more of the manure because there’s less phosphorus in it."

Phytase decreases costs and helps growers meet nutrient management regulations, promotes healthy birds for poultry companies and consumers and is good for environmental stewardship with less phosphorus in the ground and in waterways.

"I think it’s a very good product and they’re actually required to use it because of nutrient management regulations," Mr Alphin said.

Scientists in the research and analytical labs of Perdue’s Salisbury campus examine ways to use enzymes with feed in different combinations to maximize the benefits.

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